Political Theory Placement Candidates

Madeline Cronin

Curriculum Vitae

Madeline Cronin is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Political Science. She recently completed a visiting instructorship at Loyola University in Maryland. Her current research examines relationships between contemporary politics and eighteenth-century debates about the role that cultivated taste should play in political judgment and civic education.

Cronin’s dissertation—“The Politics of Taste: Mary Wollstonecraft and Jane Austen on the Cultivation of Democratic Judgment”—turns to eighteenth-century thinkers for whom cultivated taste (an inclination to take pleasure in the right things, people, and conduct) was essential to both moral and political judgment. Mary Wollstonecraft and Jane Austen present a common critique of contemporaries such as David Hume and Edmund Burke who treat elevated taste as an indicator of progress and cultivated taste as a potential solution to problems of democracy. In doing so they offer unique perspective on contemporary debates in which taste is arguably a more central concern than is acknowledged--debates about the future of higher education, just access to healthy food, and the nature of truly civil discourse and public speech. Their criticisms of the class and gender based assumptions found in Hume’s theory of taste indicate why, in contemporary discourse, taste formation might be seen is as irrelevant or even detrimental to an egalitarian civic education. Yet, they also indicate ways in which justifications for judgments of taste might be essential to civic education because these inclinations inevitably shape what we deem worthy of study or conducive to civil discourse.

Cronin’s other research projects include an investigation of the role of Shame in Machiavelli’s political thought, and a comparison of Mary Wollstonecraft’s account of human as opposed to female modesty and Catherine McKinnon’s feminist arguments against the legality of pornography.

Teaching Expertise: Modern, American, and ancient political thought; capitalism and globalization (early modernity to present); feminist political thought; international relations; human rights; contemporary political thought; literature and politics.

Research Interests: Wollstonecraft, Hume, feminism, cosmopolitanism and localism, virtue ethics, republicanism, colonialism, human rights.

Karie Cross Riddle


Karie Cross Riddle is a Postdoctoral fellow in Peace Studies and Political Science at the University of Notre Dame. She graduated from Notre Dame in August 2017 with fields in political theory and comparative politics. Before pursuing a PhD at Notre Dame, Karie earned a Master of Public Policy in International Development from the University of Maryland.

Karie's interdisciplinary work draws from major literatures in peace studies, political theory, and comparative politics, emphasizing themes of women's agency, the gendered aspects of peace and conflict, the meaning of peace, ethnic identity, and social movements. Her dissertation, "Defining Critical Feminist Justpeace: Women's Peacebuilding Praxis and Feminist Political Thought," explores the fruitful nexus between women's peacebuilding practices in Manipur, India, and liberal and critical feminism. Entering an on-going debate in peace studies about "the liberal peace"-- top-down, UN-led initiatives that focus on ceasefires, elections, and market liberalization-- Karie offers the ethnography- and feminist theory-informed concept of critical feminist justpeace as a promising alternative. Taking women's peacebuilding experiences and the insights of liberal and critical feminism together, we see that disruptive power hierarchies, even within movements for peace, tend to harm opportunities for constructive social change. The feminist tool of political intersectionality is particularly helpful for seeing and mitigating such hierarchies and producing a more lasting, gender-just peace. 


Mark Hoipkemier

Curriculum Vitae

Mark Hoipkemier is a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science. His areas of specialization are political theory and public law, with a research focus on political economy and the history of republican thought. Before coming to Notre Dame, he graduated from Dartmouth College and studied as a Fulbright Scholar at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Mark’s dissertation, “The Political Economy of Common Goods,” presents the Aristotelian concept of common as indispensable for both the empirical and normative analysis of contemporary political economy. At its most basic, the idea of common good is that communities are real agents in the political world with their own goods and goals, which emerge from interaction. Social teleology shapes the members of any community—what they do and who they are—in ways that need to be both researched and politically debated. This structure applies equally in modern liberal context as in premodern polity, so the study turns to three key players in today’s political economy: corporations, markets, and liberal politics itself. The lens of common good shows that liberal regimes and corporations cannot aim solely at the good of individuals, as they purport to do; they always have their own emergent goods. But markets, despite their economic efficiency, lack common goods of their own; they are instituted to promote political ends without generating community. Once we see where social teleology empirically applies, we are in a position to debate, not whether we want common goods in our politics, but rather which ones.

Mark's working papers in his primary research stream explore common goods as they relate to immigration policy and urban design; future projects will treat the common good in Renaissance thought (Cusanus) and Islam. His secondary research line is on republicanism, specifically Machiavelli and his American reception, on the matter of political institutions and culture. From this line have appeared several conference papers as well as a research article and book chapter (both under review), which set Machiavelli in conversation with thinkers such as Abraham Lincoln and the Federalists. Mark’s articles and other writing have appeared in the Review of Politics, the Journal of Critical RealismArchivo di Filosofia, and Interpretation. 

Mark is prepared to teach courses in ancient, modern, and American political thought, constitutional law, Islamic law and politics, citizenship and immigration, and political economy. In the upcoming year at Notre Dame, he will teach “Introduction to Political Philosophy” and “Understanding ISIS: The past and present of Islamic Law".